Our church #dunked 26 people two weekends ago. Twenty-six.
Twenty-six stories of gospel-transformation and life-change, 26 citizens of God’s kingdom declared their allegiance, 26 disciples publicly proclaimed their intent as a disciple-maker.
But it’s not just the number 26 that made the last weekend in April, Mission Weekend, so exciting – 26 is just the beginning.
It gladdens my heart to think about 26 because we are already witnessing Christ multiply that number exponentially. Twenty-six stories of how Christ lavished grace and love upon each one individually. Yet, each one of those stories were heard by hundreds, in some cases thousands, of other people, young and old, attending the gatherings.
And that’s where the “magic” happens.
Stories don’t go away easily. They follow us home, and “haunt” us even. They get stuck in our craw, and find their way into our imaginations and conversations, long after the lights of the auditorium go out and the facilities team drains the baptismal tank.
I heard of, and continue to hear, countless conversations that happened in the aftermath of Mission Weekend. If you went to the 11:15 service, you heard Mitchel’s dinner conversation, where he asked his companion when he would be baptized, to which the man replied, “Sooner than I thought.” I get the pleasure of working with students candidating for baptism, so I can report there are at least four students that I know of who plan to be baptized at the next Mission Weekend as a direct result of what happened two weekends ago. My wife Kristen and I engaged in conversation with another couple, who also attended, that in many ways reached a new level of depth in our relationship with them. I believe this was also driven by what we witnessed together.
I can say quite literally that I have heard dozens, and dozens of other stories of the 26 stories multiplying exponentially outside the four walls of our Fulton campus, into restaurants, homes, schools, workplaces, and everywhere in between.
So that’s why I think I figured out why we call it Mission Weekend. While it is about the 26 baptism stories we celebrated already, it also anticipates the celebration to come, as those 26 disciples and their stories go out and make more disciples, more stories of hope and healing.
I can’t wait for July’s Mission Weekend. What stories will we hear next? Could it be your neighbor’s? Your co-worker’s? Or could it be yours?
Sign up to get #dunked during the next Mission Weekend.
Baptism at Grace
During all worship gatherings on Baptism Weekends, we celebrate the very reason we exist as a church: Christ’s mission to make disciples, baptizing and teaching in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28: 19-20). We share testimonies of how Jesus changes lives now and for eternity. And the best part… we baptize with a joy that’s out of this world!